2008-08-28 / Letters to the Editor

Township, police should host meeting in regard to golf carts

I am a 74 year old, retired, handicapped, U.S. Veteran, and have owned a golf cart for 20 years, in St. Helen, Richfield Township. The main purpose for the golf cart is to transport myself and my children to my dock and my pontoon boat. In the winter, I use it to pull my ice shanty to the Lake. Without a golf cart, I have no means to go boating or fishing. The reason for the golf cart is the price of gas. $4.50 per gallon of gas. Gasoline golf carts get 40 miles per gallon. Electric and gas golf carts are very cheap transportation for short runs.

What happened in my subdivision was golf carts were misused by children 12 years old and younger that live downstate and are in St. Helen for weekend visits. I have called Richfield Police many times in the last three years to stop kids from driving them or trying to drive them but it just got worse. Concerned parents would follow the kids home and tell the parents not to allow them to drive golf carts unless they had a driver's license. The children did not listen. I have owned property in St. Helen since 1982, and in all 26 years, I have never seen a police car pull over a golf cart. This should not be a police matter. It should be the parents of kids driving golf carts or owners of golf carts that are being misused.

I think the Board and the Police of Richfield Township should have a meeting with any and all golf cart owners, and different subdivision leaders to work out a sound solution to correct the mistakes done by some golf cart owners. Golf Carts are driven on the side of roads all over the United States. The laws are observed and the people of these towns and resort areas do the police work. If you say "you cannot drive your golf cart to the lake or you will get an $85 ticket" to a 74-year old, retired, handicapped veteran that has done this for 26 years unless his golf cart passes an inspection that 9 out of 10 used cars in St. Helen would fail, (or should I say, pickup trucks would fail).

I pray that is matter can be resolved and a solution between the parties can be agreed upon soon. s/Ray Oatman St. Helen

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